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City staff collects data for plan to end homelessness by 2030

There are 165 community organizations delivering 723 programs for vulnerable residents within Greater Sudbury, according to a recent report released by the City of Greater Sudbury

City staff have been digging deep into data on social services offered within Greater Sudbury, compiling a list of 723 programs delivered by 165 community organizations.

They’ve printed this data on a map of the city, overlaid it with Greater Sudbury Police Service crime statistics, and found what they expected; that they are both mostly around the city’s downtown core.

Of the 723 programs, 182 directly relate to housing and homelessness.

So described city community development general manager Steve Jacques, noting the data will be an important part of drafting a plan to end homelessness by 2030, which city council requested earlier this month.

A strategy is to be drafted by city staff by the end of March 2024.

The data, which city staff mapped with the help of HelpSeeker Technologies, “is an important tool in understanding where there is high demand in Greater Sudbury for social programs, but also for the services that are required by individuals,” Jacques told the community and emergency services committee of city council during their Oct. 16 meeting.

“It shouldn’t be shocking to see the cluster of services that are available in the downtown core and the main centre of the city,” he said, noting services are sporadic and few outside of that area.

This centralization, he later clarified, can also be of concern, as removing people from the comfort of their home community “causes extreme distress and could actually exacerbate the situation.”

The data could also point to other issues, Jacques said, such as the location of food deserts throughout the municipality, which can affect the safety and security of residents.

The 723 programs by 165 community organizations include (with some overlap between categories):

  • 434: Hygiene and personal care
  • 412: Advocacy/co-ordination
  • 381: Health care and medical
  • 366: Information and systems navigation
  • 262: Inclusion and belonging
  • 256: Education / training
  • 182: Housing and homelessness
  • 179: Goods and clothing
  • 179: Income and financials
  • 178: Food and nutrition
  • 159: Mental health and addictions.

Other categories include employment and work, justice and legal, emergency and crisis, technology/communication, safety and security, wellness and recreation, transportation, followed by other categories with lower numbers.

Knowing the location of these services and what the organizations offer can be integral to helping police, Jacques said, as it could help better link them with officers.

“Our partners know the individuals within our community very well and might be able to provide a greater level of service and get that individual to the right service at that time,” Jacques said, adding that the best solution might not necessarily be people being arrested or taken to hospital.

The goal with this data, he added, is to better “work collectively with all those organizations with shared outcomes to achieve greater outcomes for our vulnerable and priority populations.”

“There’s a lot of help out there from multiple agencies and multiple programs,” Ward 6 Coun. and meeting chair René Lapierre, noting that tackling homelessness is “not just the municipality but all our partners together.” 

Despite these efforts, the number of people experiencing homelessness in Greater Sudbury has been increasing.

As of the city’s latest by-name list of people experiencing homelessness on Sept. 21, there were 214 actively homeless people in Greater Sudbury, including 41 staying in encampments, 51 unsheltered, 70 in shelter and 52 provisionally accommodated or unknown.

At around the same time last year, the city’s by-name list included 172 people who were actively homeless, including eight people in encampments, 73 unsheltered, 55 in shelter and 36 provisionally accommodated or unknown. 

These numbers exclude those who did not agree to have their names added to the by-name list. 

Earlier this month, city housing stability and homelessness manager Gail Spencer estimated that there were an additional 80 people living in encampments who are not on the list (joining 41 people on the list also living in encampments). 

Tyler Clarke covers city hall and political affairs for


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Tyler Clarke

About the Author: Tyler Clarke

Tyler Clarke covers city hall and political affairs for
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